Are You Eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy Attorney Serving Dalton, Georgia
It is difficult for working individuals to endure nowadays. These uncommon times have seen even double pay families needing help from liquidation courts. Not having the option to take care of your bills is an overwhelming encounter.
It is only made worse by creditors demanding money you cannot afford to pay. Whether you, your family, or your business really can't meet your monetary weights, our bankruptcy attorney can help.
Before making any move to determine your obligation, you want to talk with a talented bankruptcy attorney who sees every one of the legitimate intricacies of debt protection. The Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly can assist you with handling monetary issues like bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility, debt relief, and foreclosures.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia is a legal action in which you seek the courts to discharge your obligations. Most unsecured obligations will be canceled if the petition is successful, and the debtor will be offered a "new start." The debtor will be free of major debt once this process is completed.
You may be able to maintain some assets and personal items both during and after your bankruptcy. However, be cautious since the way you organize your bankruptcy can significantly influence the outcomes. Hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney might be beneficial if you are unsure what to do.
Before declaring bankruptcy, the attorneys at the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly thoroughly research all other options for financial relief. If bankruptcy is the best option for you, keep in mind that the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly has successfully helped hundreds of customers and businesses across Georgia file for bankruptcy and gain a fresh start.
What Are the Rules and Requirements of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
In comparison to Chapter 13, Chapter 7 bankruptcy has several benefits. Unlike Chapter 13, debtors are not required to adhere to a court-approved repayment plan for outstanding obligations, and the amount of debt that can be forgiven is unlimited.
Furthermore, once a bankruptcy-eligible debt is dismissed in Chapter 7, the debtor is no longer accountable for any outstanding obligation. To apply for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must first:
Meet the Income Requirements
Chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility depends on your income. Our experienced bankruptcy attorney will compare your current monthly income to the Georgia median family income.
Pass the Means Test
You can still apply for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your income is higher than the median, as long as you satisfy the "means" test. This test calculates your monthly disposable income by subtracting your monthly costs from your monthly income. You will be rejected from Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your monthly disposable income is too high.
Wait Six to Eight Years After a Previous Bankruptcy
If you filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier, you must wait eight years before filing Chapter 7. If you are not qualified for Chapter 7, you can file Chapter 13 to seek the protection of the bankruptcy court, but you may or may not be eligible for a Chapter 13 discharge depending on how long it has been since you filed Chapter 7.
Be Honest About Your Financial Situation
You must no't attempt to hide any assets or conceal debts from the bankruptcy court. You will be denied Chapter 7 relief if the court discovers that you tried to deceive or evade your creditors, transferred assets to friends and family to protect them, or lied about your income or debts.
Your debts could be discharged in as little as three months if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Call us immediately to discuss your options with our experienced bankruptcy attorney at the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly.
What is the Process of Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Georgia?
Many of your debts may be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To meet the Chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility, you must earn less than a particular amount. Some may have to be sold to pay off your creditors if you have any valuable assets.
The procedure might take four to six months if you have a very easy case. Here are some critical milestones throughout the process.
Filing Your Petition and Getting a Bankruptcy Stay
The first step is to file a bankruptcy petition with the Federal Bankruptcy Court, where you will be assigned a case number. The court will grant a bankruptcy stay, or protection from creditors, as soon as you file.
That implies creditors are prohibited from phoning you during the case. Creditors will get notice of the stay in the mail, and your reprieve should begin practically immediately.
The Meeting of Creditors
You'll have to attend a Meeting of Creditors within a month or two of filing. Chapter 7 filers seldom have to appear in front of a court, so this will likely be your last meeting.
In most cases, your court-appointed trustee will be the only one present at the meeting. This individual will examine your documentation, inquire about your finances, investigate potential fraud, and evaluate if you qualify for Chapter 7..
Your creditors may also inquire about your money and spending patterns. For example, your credit card company may inquire about recent transactions, or a lender may ask about your intentions to sell or surrender an item purchased with their loan.
These lenders and creditors have the authority to do this because you're trying to discharge what you owe them as part of your bankruptcy. It isn't, however, a regular event.
The Report is Issued
Your trustee will write a report on your finances, the debts you can discharge, and whether you have assets that can be sold to settle your debts after the meeting.
After this, your creditors have 90 days to dispute any debts that have been ruled dischargeable.
Your Adult Education Requirement
Anyone filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Georgia must complete financial education training from an approved provider. After your Meeting of Creditors, you have 45 days to complete the course and file a certificate of completion with the court.
The Bankruptcy Order
After you've met all of these requirements and there are no challenges to your dischargeable debt, the court will issue a bankruptcy order.
The trustee will manage this phase of the procedure if you have assets that can be sold to pay off some of your obligations, although this isn't a usual scenario in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
How to Protect Your Property in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cases?
In bankruptcy, liquidation is subject to what are known as "exemptions." Even though bankruptcy law is a federal statute, each state has the option of using its exclusions. The homestead exemption allows a debtor in bankruptcy in Georgia to exempt up to $21,500.00 in real estate where the debtor resides.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, Georgia bankruptcy exemptions also protect vehicles, 401(k)s, IRAs, other retirement plans, some cash, and household goods and furnishings.
You might be wondering how a $21,500.00 homestead exemption might protect your property under Chapter 7 if its fair market value is higher. If your home has no equity, the trustee will not be interested in selling it.
If your home has a fair market value of around $100,000 and you owe $110,000 on your mortgage, the mortgage company's stake in the property exceeds the value.
As a result, if the trustee sold your home, they would not make a profit. You wouldn't even need the homestead exemption in that case to keep your house.
How to Keep Your Home in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cases?
To prevent foreclosure in Georgia, you must ensure that your house is not up for sale while filing a Chapter 7. You must also make sure that your mortgage payment is current. In most Chapter 7 cases, mortgage lenders will not foreclose on your house, provided you make your monthly payments on time.
Even if you are behind on your mortgage payments during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can negotiate with your mortgage company outside of the bankruptcy process to adjust your monthly payments or catch up on your arrears. HUD-approved programs exist to assist homeowners with mortgage modifications to keep their houses.
How to Keep Your Car in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cases?
Another issue regarding bankruptcy is whether or not you can keep your automobile if you file for Chapter 7 in Georgia. Yes, it is correct. You may usually keep your car in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you own your automobile outright, you'll need to make sure you have enough exclusions to prevent the trustee from selling it.
The automobile exemption in Georgia is around $3,500 per debtor. If your automobile is worth more than $3,500, you may be able to file for an extra $5,600 exemption to keep it in bankruptcy. If you have a car loan, you must keep up with your payments to keep your vehicle out of bankruptcy.
You may be asked to sign a reaffirmation agreement to maintain your automobile in bankruptcy. A reaffirmation agreement obligates you to keep paying your vehicle creditor even after your bankruptcy case is over.
How to Convert From Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
If your income is too high for Chapter 7, the court will calculate how much disposable income you have to pay down part or all of your debts in a Chapter 13 plan if you want to do so.
The bankruptcy court in Georgia looks at your income and subtracts debt payments, living costs, and other compulsory payments to determine how much you can afford to pay each month.
When a person is in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they will be unable to keep up with their payment plan. It is feasible to transition from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 bankruptcy when this happens.
There are no gimmicks when it comes to filing for bankruptcy in Georgia. It has to do with whether or not you are eligible. If you believe you may not qualify for Chapter 7, you may always talk to our experienced bankruptcy attorney about Chapter 13. You can find out if you fit Chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility or Chapter 13 by taking the means test.
If you live in Georgia and are wondering whether a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is best for you, don't hesitate to contact the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly. We have offices around Rome, Dalton, Kennesaw, Cartersville, Dallas & Marietta Georgia. We are simply a phone call or email away from answering any of your queries.
Our experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorney has handled thousands of bankruptcies. We've seen it all; there's no need to be embarrassed; we're here to help.
What Are Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemptions?
You will undoubtedly have to give up anything that isn't exempt under Georgia law if you apply for Chapter 7. The bankruptcy trustee will liquidate any non-exempt assets to satisfy your creditors. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions in Georgia are crucial. It's nearly tough to regain your sense of security after losing all your own.
It's worth noting that some states enable people who have filed for bankruptcy to choose between federal and state exemptions. Even though bankruptcy is a federal statute, Georgia state exemptions must be used. You may be able to use federal non-bankruptcy exemptions in a few circumstances.
Unsecured debt, such as medical bills, personal loans, or a credit card account, can be discharged under Chapter 7.
However, not all unsecured debts are dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The following are some of the most prevalent Georgia bankruptcy exemptions:
- Homestead exemption
- Personal property
On the other side, Chapter 7 allows you to discharge some secured obligations from your responsibilities. Debts with security, such as a vehicle loan, are secured debts.
Are Student Loans Dischargeable?
However, some obligations, such as student loans, court-ordered damage judgments, child support, and some taxes, are not dischargeable. That means you'll have to find a way to repay these bills if you declare bankruptcy.
However, if a debtor can show that they are facing excessive hardship that would prohibit them from repaying a debt, such as a student loan, the obligation may be discharged.
At the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly, our experienced bankruptcy attorney, is capable of securing the best possible outcomes for your circumstance.
Reach Out to Our Skilled Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney Now
A straight liquidation bankruptcy under Chapter 7 may be the best option if you don't have enough or consistent income to pay down your obligations. You may escape practically all of your debts by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and not making any payments. It also stops your creditors from pursuing you further.
Our experienced bankruptcy attorney at the Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly assists clients in obtaining Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, sometimes known as a "total debt liquidation bankruptcy," is typically utilized by those with little assets but a lot of unsecured debt. To check whether you fit the Chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility, give us a call right now.
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"Jeff and his team do great work. They are fast and easy to work with. I would suggest working with them if you need to file for bankruptcy. Thanks Kelly Law Group!
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